General Interest

Locked GEDCOM (Family Tree) Slurping?

I have a large family tree saved in the usual form (a generic GEDCOM file) and I’d like to reproduce it in book form. 

The very basic (free) genealogy software from places such as Ancestry.com can produce a nice Word document with all the pertinent details, photos, etc and it also produces a table of contents!   Within a few seconds, I can have this in my hands.  What I don’t have is a way to print and bind it into a book.

Is there any chance that Blurb is looking into this for a future release?  If so, I’ll happily wait for the upgrade as it’ll be a HUGE task to manually copy and paste each page and photo into booksmart.

If anyone else has produced a comprehensive family history book from their GEDCOM file, can you offer any tips or tricks about how you did it, what worked and what you might do differently?

I may cross-post this to other boards on this forum just to increase the odds of getting an answer.   Regardless, I’d love to hear from Blurb staff too!

Donna

Posted by
donnat
Nov 27, 2007 6:16pm PDT
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donnat
 

I can’t cross-post this to other boards so I hope I can get an answer here.

Donna

Posted by
donnat
Nov 27, 2007 6:18pm PDT
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donnat
 

Hi Donna,

I can say that we’ve heard this request from a lot of people and it’s certainly on our list of features to consider. That said, we don’t have anything scheduled for an upcoming release.

Thanks for the suggestion. If there are others who echo Donna’s request, let us know here.  

– Kathy 

Posted by
kathybad
Nov 28, 2007 10:22am PDT
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kathybad
 

I also do genealogical work with GEDCOMs and echo Donna’s request for Booksmart to ” slup” GEDCOMs and generate genealogical charts and tables.

I was planning to prepare a book from my GEDCOM after I finished my research (maybe 2-3 years in the future), and I was expecting to have to manually generate the tables and charts, clean them up, and then import the information into Booksmart. As Donna said, this would be a large and time-consuming effort.

That said, I’ll have to look at Ancestry.com for some software tool which might facilitte generating the tables. Thanks for the info, Donna!

Andrew

Posted by
fessaa
Nov 28, 2007 6:12pm PDT
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fessaa
 

My wife and I used Family Tree Maker to do the first edition of our genealogy books back in 2000.  It allowed you to save the setup for any of the reporst it could make – lists of people, charts, photos, and the like – then put them in whatever order you wanted and print the whole mess out.  We made four, a book each for the lines going back from each set of grandparents.  We took them to a Kinkos to get photocopied on both sides of the page, then took the copies to a local bindery to get bound up – flat black with gold foil stamping on the cover.  (It was the same bindery that the U of M uses for getting doctoral dissertations bound up.  Any university town will have one, I betcha.)

I would love to have a way to do something similar in Blurb, but it would be a whole new area of expertise for the Blurb programmers to get into (reading in GEDCOMs, I mean.).  The shortcut for Blurb would be if it was possible to import a PDF.  It is pretty trivial to get the Word doc converted to PDF, and if BookSmart could take a PDF and turn it into a book, we’d be good to go.

I’ve been telling my wife that 2010 would be a good target date for release of the revised editions of all our books.  I bet I could get her to go faster if Blurb was an option.  The books we made before were packed with information, all in a very small font.  Terrible book design.  Blurb would be a lot nicer to work with.  (On the business side of things, the advantage there is that you have a built in audience of people who will buy the book.  C’mon Blurb, help us sell more of your product!)

Posted by
AnotherSteve
Nov 29, 2007 11:04am PDT
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AnotherSteve
 

Add me to the list of people that could use this feature.

Posted by
lcarreira
Nov 29, 2007 12:45pm PDT
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lcarreira
 

Donna, you can order a family history/genealogy book directly from ancestry.com. I haven’t done it, so cannot offer any comments.

That being said, I personally would love to see Blurb offer this service…and I can’t believe that any company would go wrong in providing service to genealogists …we’re a strange bunch, but harmless :-)

 

Posted by
tjabner
Dec 8, 2007 1:24pm PDT
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tjabner
 

Okay, some more information: Family Tree Maker used to have a feature where you could make up a book.  When they rolled out the latest edition (FTM 2008), they re-wrote everything from scratch, and that feature got left out.   Looks like their plan was to push everything to the web services on Ancestry.com.  The books that they publish on their website have okay prices, until you go over the standard 20 pages, and then you start paying a buck a page.

Enough people complained that they brought back some of the reporting features in FTM 2008 in a recent patch, and according to the website, in summer of 2008, they will bring back the book function completely, including the ability to print out your book to PDF.  My prediction: Lulu will become the default publisher for family history books at that time, unless Blurb starts allowing PDF import.

Posted by
AnotherSteve
Dec 18, 2007 7:04am PDT
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AnotherSteve
 

Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions!   I know that GEDCOM files, from a programming standpoint, are extremely easy to work with so I don’t have any worries that complexity will be an obstacle for Blurb. 

My Ancestry.com generated reports are nice but the photos are low resolution (since I use thumbnails for my images so my huge tree will display easily on my family website).  If I printed a book, I’d want to replace those tiny pictures with larger ones and, probably, supplement with photos not included in my GEDCOM file.  That’s why I’d prefer the flexibility of Blurb (where you can move stuff around and use various page layouts) instead of Ancestry.com where I’d have to print what they produce for me.

Donna

Posted by
donnat
Dec 18, 2007 12:29pm PDT
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donnat
 

Add me to the list of people who would definitely use blurb to purchase my 200+ page genealogy book with text and photos. If you offered this service, word would get out fast. All of us family history buffs communicate!

Posted by
dtrounstine
Jan 26, 2008 11:45pm PDT
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dtrounstine
 

Kathy, and all,

Kathy you commented on my earlier post about this topic:

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/4/topics/1905

I’d just like to add to the discussion: There are those who would make a family tree book if BookSmart had the templates. So add a slurp feature for GEDCOM files but also add the templates for those who haven’t use family tree software. PLEASE, pretty PLEASE (LOL).

Those of you who have used family tree software, this is a good time to discuss forms and template that BookSMart needs for creating a family tree book within BookSmart.

Love to see this in the next update (BIG SMILE)

Keep smiling

Posted by
pictureme
Jan 28, 2008 10:27am PDT
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pictureme
 

If you look at the money you (Blurb) could make think about this. If you go to http://www.ancestry.com/ and read the stats on the home page: Just this week alone 7 million families added their family tree (from all over the world but mostly USA and UK)

If you have .25 percent of them create a book that’s about 30 thousand per week.

Also look at the templates they offer, blurb has the advantage of offering different trims, more pages, and has a large variety of existing templates…???

if you had that market guess what, will be smiling!

Posted by
pictureme
Jan 28, 2008 11:00am PDT
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pictureme
 

Hi,

I actually came to Blurb through my research on where to best create my genealogy family book, with photos, text, family trees and timelines.

The other companies are not offering at the moment the number of pages I would need and also quality of the photos and printing are important.

Adding features and designs supporting this kind of books would cement my decision to go with Blurb for my planned book.

Posted by
Norika
Jan 30, 2008 3:17am PDT
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Norika
 

Please add me to the list.  I have a lot of genealogical information and have been holding off publishing it because I could not locate the "right" type of book, or service to do it.

Posted by
dius
Feb 1, 2008 3:59pm PDT
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dius
 

I’ve been looking for a text-heavy application for printing my family tree. I finally decided to go with the "FREE" Booksmart download, UNTIL, mid-download I got a message to fork over $1.99 to continue.  I’m not gripping about the money, but if the definition of FREE download means $1.99 to these folks, then I have no confidence in their word.  I’ll shop elsewhere.

Diana@fessler.com

Posted by
dfessler
Feb 21, 2009 8:53am PDT
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dfessler
 

Hi dfessler,

BookSmart is 100% free. You pay only when you upload and order your book at Blurb.com. You need only pay once your book is in your own bookstore and you actually order a book in our shopping cart. I don’t know if your service provider or someone else flashed you a message regarding the $1.99, but it’s extremely unlikely that it had anything to do with Blurb. Please check in with customer support so we can help you figure out what happened.

– Kathy

Posted by
kathybad
Feb 21, 2009 9:12pm PDT
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kathybad
 

I have at least 5 projects that I working on. Mrs Blurb needs to think about this function. I personally asked for this service nearly two years ago. Imagine how many books you’ve missed out on creating. Imagine the thousands of lives you could have touched by now. Imagine the countless memories you could have preserved. And the joy too many hearts….something to think about….or something you need to act upon?

Keep smiling

Posted by
pictureme
Mar 3, 2009 12:26pm PDT
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pictureme
 

Add me to the list also – I would have loved to have been able to import some of my genealogy files into my last book – I tried the copy paste method – but found that the page’s were unstable and the information would become distorted when I would close and reopend the book to work on it.    I blog on genealogy – and I know if blurb offered this to these people they would all jump at the chance to create a good quality and resonably priced book like Blurb….

Posted by
Bebensee
Mar 3, 2009 3:03pm PDT
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Bebensee
 

One more thing – since I put a badge on my blog site which gave other genealogy bloggers access to look at my book – there have been 170 people look at my book from that site – and that was just since the 16th of February -  I’m guessing that many may have gone beyond just looking at the link to my book to see what Blurb offers…...

Posted by
Bebensee
Mar 3, 2009 3:07pm PDT
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Bebensee
 

 I came to Blurb via a fellow genealogist and the first thing I looked for was a Family tree template. Nothing as yet?

I have just made my first book as an experiment to ‘test’ the Blurb product (photography – still awaiting it’s arrival) and I can’t wait to get going on my family history book. I would use the PDF option, but sadly the Ancestry FTM software has messed everything up when I try to create a book (maybe because I’m still on ‘07 having heard of all the hassles people were having with later versions). So, I’m back to square one. PLEASE Blurb – you’re missing out on an absolutely huge market where genealogy is concerned.

Posted by
Jemhay
Oct 8, 2009 7:40pm PDT
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Jemhay
 

I, too,would be interested in a way to print my book in Blurb/Booksmart.  I have an almost 800 page genealogy with probably at least 100 photos.   I used my genealogy software program and converted it into a Word document, then to a PDF.  I put it on a CD and sold it to people that way, because with 800 pages it was going to be too expensive to sell and ship it in print.   For my copy, I printed it out and bound it myself with two hard covers and clips that I purchased at staples.  It does look pretty good, but not a professional job of course.  I would love to have it professionally bound.  I know I can do it via a PDF but it looks like a lot of work to get it all into Booksmart and to make sure all the photos are ok.  It is on 8 1/2 × 11 paper and with the margins I know it would fit onto 8×10 paper.  I would like to have it in an 8×10 book.  I don’t even mind 2 volumes.

So….Blurb, add another person that would like a way to have her family history in print, via a Word document or PDF…that would be easy to convert.  Thanks.

Posted by
camack
Oct 9, 2009 6:44am PDT
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camack
 

Hi everyone.  Since I am new to this, I am just wondering if Blurb isn’t coming up with a template…anyone else who has figured out the process willing to hire out? 

Posted by
phlewumcis1
Mar 25, 2010 8:22pm PDT
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phlewumcis1
 

Add me to the list… I’ve been searching all over the place for places to publish a large family tree in a book… and I know there are thousands of others of us out there looking for the same thing… come on blurb look at the popularity of family research these days with the rise of ‘who do you think you are’ etc.  tap into this significant market, because even Ancestry.com hasn’t worked it out yet.

Posted by
whymeonlyme
Oct 14, 2010 11:59pm PDT
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whymeonlyme
 

I had hoped that Blurb would have a family tree template as that is my project. Donna

Posted by
donnagene
Oct 22, 2010 12:14pm PDT
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donnagene
 

I came to Blurb also looking for a way to publish genealogy information.  Surely, an alternative to Ancestry would have a large audience.

Posted by
FredJo
Mar 6, 2011 10:24am PDT
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FredJo